The matter of legalizing hemp production in South Dakota was discussed but no movement on Bill 1008 occurred because there was no prison impact statement. The statement is, basically, a statement that looks at how much the state’s prison population would grow or shrink as a result of the passing of the bill. If the bill was passed then there would be inspections of the plants to make sure the THC content is under .03. If it is not under that level then the crop will have to be destroyed.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bill 1008 was discussed but nothing happened because there was no prison impact statement on the preliminary amendment.
  • Bill 1008 would legalize the production of hemp and other derivative products.
  • The products, under the bill, would have to have THC levels under .03 or the product will have to be destroyed.

Quote: “All plants need to have a THC content of 0.03% or less. If tests determine that the plants exceed this level, they can be retested. If the second test shows the hemp plant still has a content over the allowed THC amounts, the crop must be destroyed. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety will handle the inspections.” (Marvel, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.thedickinsonpress.com/news/government-and-politics/4888593-Licensing-details-for-hemp-being-ironed-out-as-South-Dakota-legislators-mull-amendment

Photo from:

https://www.fccnn.com/incoming/4888640-r6kyoa-013120.HEMPMEETING/alternates/BASE_LANDSCAPE/013120.HEMPMEETING

Authorities found 6 million dollars worth of illegally grown marijuana in a warehouse. The commercial warehouse was being used by the plumbing company in question. They were drying the marijuana and selling it for $2400 a pound. Authorities said that the set up was sophisticated and included irrigation systems, lighting, plant food, and air circulation machinery.

Key Takeaways:

  • The owners of a plumbing company were found guilty of illegally growing marijuana.
  • The operation was in a warehouse and authorities said that they found six million dollars worth of marijuana in it.
  • The authorities also said it was a sophisticated operation that included irrigation systems, air circulation machines, lighting, and other indoor growing supplies.

“Authorities said the family used the business as a front for a large-scale marijuana operation.” (Croteau, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.masslive.com/worcester/2020/01/owners-of-chuck-laverty-son-plumbing-in-millbury-laundered-drug-money-while-growing-6-million-in-marijuana-in-clinton-warehouse.html

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A farm in Cincinnati is looking to build a massive farm in which there will be no human workers. The farm will be automated as much as possible. The other impressive part about this operation is that it is intended to be an indoor growing facility. It will be producing plant-based foods when it finishes its construction phase.

Key Takeaways:

  • A farm in Cincinnati will be fully automated with robots.
  • The farm will be grown indoors and automated.
  • It will be the size of 1 1/2 football fields.

Quote: “The building under construction will be enormous – the size of 1 1/2 football fields. It will be fully automated, including every step from seeding to packaging.” (Thompson, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.publicradioeast.org/post/indoor-vertical-farm-cincinnati-will-be-fully-automated

The world is becoming more and more aware of the benefits of indoor growing/vertical farming. Another piece of evidence for this is the fact that MSU just received a four-year grant from the US Department of Agriculture to study the production of indoor leafy greens. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Speciality Crop Research Initiative and other organizations had made the grant worth over $5.4 million. The money will be used to find out what the optimal indoor environment conditions are, what the optimal profit on yield should be, and to have indoor farming stakeholders collaborate with learning initiatives.

Key Takeaways:

  • MSU received a four-year grant.
  • The grant was from the USDA and other organizations.
  • The grant, because of matching funding, is over $5.4 million.

Quote: “Erik Runkle, a professor in the MSU Department of Horticulture, was awarded the grant by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Others in the industry have matched funding, making the total grant top $5.4 million.” (Schellong, 2020)

Link to article:

www.wlns.com/news/msu-researchers-receive-grant-to-study-indoor-production-of-greens

Photo from:

i2.wp.com/www.wlns.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/50/2020/01/AP07091803608.jpg?resize=960%2C540&ssl=1

A former police officer in OKC is frustrated that an indoor grow operation may be set up near his home. He fears that it will bring larger amounts of theft to the area because, “they might sneak across the fence and grab a handful of marijuana. Yank a plant up or two and run,” he said. The man who would own the indoor grow facility says that he filed all the right paperwork. A City Councilman, James Greiner, agreed with him by saying that if it is run within the rules set forth then the grower is well within his legal rights.

Key Takeaways:

  • A former police officer is taking issue with another resident who wants to rezone his property to grow marijuana.
  • The police officer’s main concern is with theft in the area that may start to climb.
  • A City Councilman, James Greiner, weighed in on the situation saying that, “if the applicant abides by state law’s then it is legal for him to pursue it.”(pp)

Quote: “The retired police officer is concerned about the prospects of a marijuana farm going up close to his West OKC neighborhood. According to city records, lots at Wilshire and County Line Road are petitioning to be rezoned from residential to agricultural.“ (Skarky, 2020)

Link to article:

kfor.com/2020/01/27/resident-upset-about-pot-farm-in-okc-city-limits/

People are becoming more and more interested in indoor growing and vertical farming. A report came forth during August 2019 that said that there is a multibillion-dollar growth potential if farmers, old and new, or companies can use the new tech coming forth for agriculture. However, a shortage of agricultural laborers seems to be a problem as the article reports that ¼ of farmers in Canada will be 65 by 2025. The shortage for farmers is going to grow to 123,000 by 2030. The current output from the sector is $40 billion but that could easily reach $51 billion if money was put into the right places.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indoor gardening/farming is growing. Predictions say that agricultural production in Canada could see the industry grow from $41 billion to $51 billion.
  • There is also a shortage of people in the field as it seems as if ¼ of farmers in Canada will be 65 by 2025.
  • Reports say that there will be 123,000 jobs in the sector with no one to fill them by 2030.

Quote: “The bank’s Farmer 4.0 study estimated that in Canada, where one-quarter of farmers will be 65 or older by 2025, the agricultural labour shortage is expected to grow to 123,000 positions by 2030. However, Royal Bank determined that the sector’s GDP output could grow from $40 billion to $51 billion over the next decade if the right investments are made in people, skills and technology.” (Orton, 2020)

Link to article:

https://biv.com/article/2020/01/bc-tech-cultivating-opportunities-agriculture

Photo from:

https://biv.com/sites/default/files/styles/media_image/public/2020-01/img8193_0.jpg?h=09e4fd8a&itok=3m_jWxhi

Piatt County in Illinois has allowed its first legal grower a permit. The County Zoning Board gave a special permit to two gentlemen who applied as “crafters” of the crop. It allows them to grow smaller amounts. The growers have the condition of doing water table tests over some time to make sure that the water supply for their neighbors is not adversely affected.

Key Takeaways:

  • The County Zoning Board of Appeals of Piatt County voted 5-0 to allow a special use permit for a cannabis growing facility.

  • The permit was for a “craft” grower which means that the two gentlemen who received the permits will be producing smaller quantities of the crop.

  • They will have to conduct water table tests to make sure that the neighbors would not be affected by the water usage of the grow production as a condition of the permit.

Quote: “The ZBA did include a condition that the applicant conduct water table tests and make sure the operation would not affect the water supply of adjacent neighbors.” (Hoffman, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.journal-republican.com/news/cannabis-grower-nets-permit-approval-from-piatt-county-zoning-board/article_505e1ea8-3ec4-11ea-a521-b756fcc1debf.html

The nature of the indoor growing of Cannabis has affected the energy grid more than expected. The legal and illegal growing industries are using more energy than Starbucks by 2.7 billion kilowatts per hour. States and cities are scrambling to make tax rules that will account for the use of energy in their areas. They are doing this by targeting homes that are using a lot of power. For example, Arcata, California has instituted a tax where homes spending more than $700 of energy face a 45 percent tax on electricity.

Key Takeaways:

  • The cannabis industry is using 4.1 billion kilowatts per hour. Starbucks, in comparison, is using 1.7 billion kWh.
  • A single joint of cannabis is equal to a 100 watt light bulb that has run for 17 hours straight.
  • States are now trying to target the industry via taxes to try to make up the energy usage in a variety of ways including a 45 percent tax on residential homes using more than 700 dollars of electricity.

Quote: “A report by New Frontier Data found that legal and illegal cannabis cultivation combined uses almost three times the amount of electricity as the entire Starbucks Corp, with cannabis consuming 4.1 billion kilowatts per hour (KWh) compared with Starbucks using only 1.7 billion KWh, which is still a huge amount of energy. The legal cannabis industry uses around 1.1 million megawatts per hour per year, which is sufficient enough to power 92,500 homes.” (Holley, 2020)

Link to article:

www.theleafdesk.com/the-truth-behind-the-cannabis-industrys-energy-problem/

Photo from:

www.theleafdesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/energy-consumption-2-1000×667.jpg

The surprise flash-freezing temperatures in places like Florida have hurt fruit-bearing plants around the country. Iguanas have been frozen. Fruit plants have been tricked into budding too early. The frozen temperatures will lessen crops this year. The author of the article goes on to say in the end that indoor gardening may be a good way to grow until real Spring arrives. Further reinforcing that indoor growing might be the way of the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Several fruit plants have been tricked into budding too early due to mild temperatures. However, more frozen weather is coming.
  • The frost will destroy a lot of crops this year.
  • Indoor growing and farming is a good way to keep yourself gardening until real Spring arrives when it should be safer to grow outdoors again.
  • “The mild weather has also has a downside. Many fruit trees have been fooled into thinking spring is already here. My pear trees particularly are already putting buds and blossom out which will not survive the predicted 29 degrees. Young leaves on trees will likely also be killed but they will be replaced in a few weeks time. Unfortunately, fruiting trees that put out flowers too soon will have damaged fruit or no fruit at all this summer. Alas, there is not a thing you can do about it in the garden.” (Copsey, 2020)

    Link to article:

    https://thetandd.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/freezing-temps-may-harm-fruit-trees/article_214a9e06-32d8-51af-90e4-53376d431d5d.html

    Photo from:

    https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/thetandd.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/3c/a3cab6f8-f621-52ff-b589-f3b96c837852/5e27a86dd009f.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C900

Not sure what strain of Cannabis to start growing? Here is information from Weednews.co that gives you an idea of the 10 best strains to grow. It even includes some of the disadvantages of growing each type for the end-user. Critical Kush made the top of the list, White Widow Autoflowering was 2nd, and Blue Dream rounded out the top 3. You can click the link below to read more about the strains that made the list.

Key Takeaways:

  • Weednews.co reported on the top 10 Cannabis strains to grow.
  • Critical Kush made number one on the list.
  • The list includes cons that could be useful in deciding which strains you will grow for your business or pleasure.

Quote: “The strains on this list – all of which yield a large number of buds – are also relatively easy to grow and are typically extremely hardy. In some cases, pruning or staking is necessary, but the majority of these plants will thrive with minimum effort.” (Green, 2020)

Link to article:

www.weednews.co/highest-yielding-strains/

Photo from:

https://www.weednews.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/best-yielding-strains.jpg

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